Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the meetings of the All-Party Group

In attendance: Layla Moran MP (chair), Caroline Lucas MP, Debbie Abrahams MP, Lord Strasburger, Baroness Brinton, Baroness Finlay, Lord Russell, Baroness Masham.


Non-voting attendees: Sam Payne (office of Layla Moran MP), Tom Brufatto (APPG Secretariat), Jennifer Watson (APPG Secretariat), Lizzy Price (APPG Secretariat).

1. The Chair welcomed everyone to the ninth meeting of the APPG.

2. Adoption of Minutes of APPG Meeting of 26 January 2021.

Subject to the agreed changes, the Minutes of the 26 January 2021 Meeting were approved by show of hands.

3. Discussion of the Road Map

It was agreed that the APPG would produce its own set of tests for the road map, having regard to the following issues:

1. The matters raised at the APPG hearing held on 23 February 2021 (International comparisons with public health measures adopted in Australia and New Zealand). 2. The need for increased focus on the fact that step 4 of the UK Government’s tests should be the starting point: namely the assessment of new variants.

3. The need for more reliable and granular data on the vaccine roll out: who is being left out, why and how this can be addressed, including personal data and data interface issues.

4. The inadequacy of the current test and trace system and existing quarantine arrangements.

5. The overreliance on mass testing in schools, potentially giving a false sense of security.

6. The need for better public health messaging on distance aware, mask wearing and ventilation.

7. The strategy outlined by Independent Sage in its publication of 19 February 2021: A Suppression Strategy for Keeping Society Open, which rests on five pillars:


• Vaccination for the entire population (including children once approved) in the expectation of regular boosters in the future as required.
• Widespread testing as part of a test, trace and isolate system rooted in local communities and organised through local public health bodies.
• A comprehensive resource package which enables people from all sections of the community to self-isolate.
• Accreditation as “Covid secure space” of all public spaces through a robust system of guidance, support, regulation and inspection to ensure they meet Covid safety standards.
• Strict control of borders and limits on international travel.


4. Discussion of Future Hearings.

It was agreed that future hearings of the APPG should include the following topics:

• Where did we first go wrong? (e.g. when Covid-19 was first treated as a flu type illness, rather than a Sars/Mers disease).
• Exercise Cygnus: what can we learn for emergency preparedness in the future. • Border Controls: including issues such as the impact of the limitation of personnel on duty.
• Long Covid Registry as a means to understand variants/record numbers. • Covid as an immunity issue: the need for expertise in immunology for a better understanding of the virus.
• The need to change the language: this is not comparable to flu.
• Test and Trace
• DNA/CPR: the inequality of treatment.
• Disability/dementia cross-over: is disability / dementia a risk factor or does Covid-19 make the conditions worse.
• Vaccine without suppression will produce new variants.
• International access to the vaccine and equity.
• What are other countries doing for their road map out.
• Vaccination programme: who is being left out and why.
• Whether it is possible or even desirable to assert that the road map is irreversible.

In attendance: Layla Moran MP (chair), Wendy Chamberlain MP, Baroness Masham of Ilton, Munira Wilson MP, Lord Strasburger, Baroness Brinton.

Non-voting attendees: Sam Payne (office of Layla Moran MP), Tom Brufatto (APPG Secretariat), Jennifer Watson (APPG Secretariat), Lizzy Price (APPG Secretariat).

1. The Chair welcomed everyone to the eighth meeting of the APPG.

2. Adoption of Minutes of APPG Meeting of 15 December 2020

The Minutes of the 15 December 2020 Meeting were approved by show of hands.

In Attendance: Layla Moran MP, Dr Philippa Whitford MP, Caroline Lucas MP, Munira Wilson MP, Lord Strasburger, Richard Burgon MP, Philippa Whitford MP, office of Lisa Cameron MP, Barbara Keeley MP, Baroness Masham, Lord Tebbit, Lord Russell. 

Non-voting attendees: Hannah Bowess-Smith (office of Baroness Finlay) Tom Brufatto (Secretariat), Jennifer Watson (Secretariat), Lizzy Price (Secretariat), Owen Sainsbury (Office of Layla Moran MP), Sam Payne (Office of Layla Moran MP). 

  1. Approval of the Minutes of the meeting held on 01 December 2020 The Minutes of the meeting were approved by a show of hands. 
  2. Discussion of APPG in 2020 

The expertise of the witnesses and quality of their evidence to the APPG were noted. The hearing on Long Covid was an example of where the APPG had been ahead of public debate and understanding. 

It was noted that the most effective publicity had been achieved when journalists had attended and reported on specific hearings, rather than when the Interim Report was released. 

It was agreed that the Interim Report be disseminated as widely as possible, including but not limited to 

  • all MPs 
  • local authorities 
  • the Care Quality Commission and other relevant agencies. 
  • the devolved Governments. In this regard, it was noted that while much of the detail of the report related to the situation in England, the aim of Covid-Secure UK was aligned to the devolved administrations, namely suppression and elimination of the virus. 

It was agreed that the APPG should continue to push the recommendations contained in the Interim Report. Consideration should be given to breaking down the Interim Report into single issues, with key messages for the public. 

It was agreed that the APPG should not be associated with being pro-lockdown, but simply pro evidence based Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions. These should be managed properly, and accompanied by clear, consistent, and honest messaging. 

Continued should be made for a locally led Find, Test, Trace, Isolate and Support system, with the emphasis on support for isolation. In this regard, it was noted that, as regards the mass testing in Liverpool, many in the most deprived areas refused to get a test, for fear of having to isolate and lose income. Similarly, in Salford, it was reported that of those who had to self-isolate and had applied for isolation payments, only 22% were successful. On the question of the need for support to self-isolate, Richard Burgon brought to the attention of the APPG his Early Day Motion (#1249) on the question of sick pay and the need for real living wage levels. Members were requested to consider signing this EDM. 

On the question of inequalities, the recent paper by Professor Sir Michael Marmot on the impact of Covid on health inequalities was noted.

3. Future Hearings of the APPG 

It was proposed that future hearings should begin in early January, with a suggested start date of Tuesday 12 January. 

It was agreed that the following topics be discussed at future hearings: 

  • Vaccine roll-out including management, uptake and confidence. Vaccine and medication availability and the impact of Brexit. 
  • Isolation (with Support). It was agreed that local Mayors be invited to give evidence on behalf of their communities on the requirements necessary for self-isolation. Comparisons with other countries and their support measures would also be instructive. 
  • Testing strategy – including the cost/benefit analysis of mass testing, and the opportunity costs associated with mass testing. It was suggested that Dr Angela Raffle from the UK Screening committee be invited to attend and give evidence to the APPG on the efficacy of mass screening. 
  • Travel – including testing at UK’s international ports and airports. Tracing – the effectiveness of local authorities versus the effectiveness of Serco. 
  • International comparisons – compared with countries who have been more successful at suppressing the virus, such as Finland and Norway, what measures could achieve improved compliance and a more successful outcome. 

In order to maximise currency, publicity and influence, it was agreed that topics covered at hearings would be released more frequently, in advance of a final, consolidated report. 

In Attendance: Layla Moran MP, Dr Philippa Whitford MP, Caroline Lucas MP, Dr Dan Poulter MP, Clive Lewis MP, Lord Strasburger, Baroness Finlay, Barbara Keeley MP, Lord Russell, Baroness Masham, Debbie Abrahams MP. Non-voting attendees: Tom Brufatto (Secretariat), Jennifer Watson (Secretariat), Lizzy Price (Secretariat), Sam Payne (Office of Layla Moran MP) 

Apologies: Munira Wilson MP 

  1. Approval of the Interim Report 

There was a general discussion about the content of the report. Some APPG members had submitted feedback in writing prior to the meeting, and this was discussed at the same time. 

The following changes were agreed: 

  • Expand the Covid-Secure UK section. 
  • Strengthen the recommendation on Find, Test, Trace, Isolate and Support, highlighting the issues for isolation and the failure of the outsourced test and trace contracts. 
  • Strengthen the recommendation on visiting those in social care. 
  • Strengthen the recommendation on Long Covid to include the creation of a Long Covid Registry. 
  • Strengthen the recommendations on Mental Health. 
  • Include a Recommendation on access to testing. 
  • Layla to provide a Foreword to be circulated to Members with other changes. 
  • Add the names of those Peers who have made regular contributions. Include a reference to Norway/Finland in the International Comparisons section. 
  • Ensure that it is as collaborative and cross-party in all the language. 

Subject to those changes being circulated and agreed, the Interim Report was approved unanimously.

In attendance: Dr Daniel Poulter (acting Chair), Barbara Keeley MP, Munira Wilson MP, Lord  Strasburger, Lord Russell, Dr Philippa Whitford MP, Baroness Jones (for the first 10  minutes).  

Non-voting attendees: Jonathan Foster (office of Dr Dan Poulter MP), Sam Payne (office of  Layla Moran MP), Owen Sainsbury (office of Layla Moran MP) Tom Brufatto (APPG  Secretariat), Jennifer Watson (APPG Secretariat), Lizzy Price (APPG Secretariat), Alice  Antoine-Gregoire (APPG Secretariat).  

  1. The Chair welcomed everyone to this EGM and fifth meeting of the APPG.  
  2. Adoption of Minutes of APPG Meeting of 02 September 2020  

The Minutes of the 02 September 2020 were approved.  

3. Election of Caroline Lucas MP as Vice Chair  

Caroline Lucas MP and Barbara Keeley MP were elected as Vice  Chairs.

4. Long Covid Campaign Plan  

The APPG agreed on the Long Covid plan to raise awareness and support for this  condition.  

5. Zero-Covid Campaign Plan  

The APPG agreed on the Zero-Covid plan for removal of community transition by  means of:  

  • Control  
  • Suppression  
  • Eradication  

It was acknowledged that testing was instrumental for a successful Zero-Covid  strategy, and it was agreed that the APPG should have a further hearing on  testing.  

6. AOB  

Members agreed to consider the name Zero-Covid in terms of communication. 

In attendance: Layla Moran MP (chair), Dr Lisa Cameron MP, Barbara Keeley MP, Baroness  Masham of Ilton, Caroline Lucas MP, Dr Daniel Poulter MP, Munira Wilson MP, Lord  Strasburger, Lord Russell. 

Non-voting attendees: Sam Payne (office of Layla Moran MP), Ryan Pratt (office of Lord  Taylor of Warwick), Tom Brufatto (APPG Secretariat), Jennifer Watson (APPG Secretariat),  Lizzy Price (APPG Secretariat). 

  1. The Chair welcomed everyone to the fourth meeting of the APPG
  2. Adoption of Minutes of APPG Meeting of 19 August 2020  

The Minutes of the 19 August Meeting were agreed. 

3. The Schedule for upcoming hearings was agreed

  • Frontline healthworkers (09.09.20) 
  • Covid-19 impact on mental health (16.09.20) 
  • International perspectives. (23.09.20) 

4. Recommendations follow up 

It was agreed that the APPG would follow up on recommendations concerning: 

  • Zero-Covid 
  • Long Covid 
  • Bereaved families 

5. Extension of evidence hearings beyond 30 September 

Consideration was given to extending the evidence sessions beyond 30 September  and to expanding the terms of reference to include economic impact of Coronavirus. 

It was agreed that the APPG would draft a report of the evidence so far, and the  APPG agreed to a timescale for extension.

 

6. AOB 

 

The APPG recognised the need for a reliable metric for measuring the impact of the  pandemic.  

The APPG will consider the impact of influenza under the topic of NHS preparedness  for Winter. 

The APPG will consider a further session directed in particular on the impact of the  pandemic on communities with protected characteristics. 

In Attendance: Layla Moran MP, Dr Philippa Whitford MP, Munira Wilson MP, Lord Narendra Patel, Lord Strasburger, Lisa Cameron MP, Baroness Finlay, Liz Savile Roberts MP, Barbara Keeley MP, Lord Russell, Stephen Farry MP, Baroness Altmann. 

Non-voting attendees: Tom Brufatto (Secretariat), Jennifer Watson (Secretariat), Lizzy Price (Secretariat), Sam Payne (Office of Layla Moran MP). 

Apologies: Caroline Lucas MP, Baroness Masham of Ilton, Clive Lewis MP 

  1. Adoption of Meeting Minutes from 05/08/20 

Meeting minutes of the APPG on Coronavirus from 05/08/20 were adopted (Annex I). 

  1. Final Zero-Covid Recommendations 

The Recommendations on Zero-Covid were adopted. The letter will be circulated to the Members. 

  1. Bereaved Families and ‘Long Covid’ Recommendations 

The Recommendations on Bereaved Families and ‘Long-Covid’ were adopted. The letter will be circulated to the Members. 

  1. Meeting Format and Date Change 

The APPG on Coronavirus recognised the need to ensure that as many members as possible be able to attend the meetings. In that regard, it was agreed that members would maintain the current timetable, but review this at the reopening of Parliament. 

In Attendance: Layla Moran MP, Dr Philippa Whitford MP, Munira Wilson MP, Baroness Masham of Ilton, Caroline Lucas MP, Barbara Keeley MP, Andrew Gwynne MP, Lord Strasburger, Lord Patel. 

Non-voting attendees: Tom Brufatto (Secretariat), Mike Galsworthy (Secretariat), Jennifer Watson (Secretariat), Lizzy Price (Secretariat), Sam Payne (Office of Layla Moran MP). 

Apologies: Debbie Abrahams MP, Clive Lewis MP, Dan Poulter MP 

  1. Adoption of Meeting Minutes from 22/07/2020 Meeting (Appendix I) 

Meeting minutes from 22/07/2020 were adopted. 

  1. Adoption of ‘Zero-Covid’ Recommendations (Appendix II) 

‘Zero-Covid’ Recommendations were adopted. 

  1. Adoption of APPG on Coronavirus Oral Evidence Witnesses Plan (Appendix III) 

APPG on Coronavirus Oral Evidence Witnesses Plan was adopted

APPG on Coronavirus Meeting 01 

Wednesday, 22 July 2020, 11.00am 

Meeting Minutes 

In Attendance: Layla Moran MP, Dr Philippa Whitford MP, Munira Wilson MP, Baroness Masham of Ilton, Clive Lewis MP, Wendy Chamberlain MP, Jonathan Foster (Office of Dan Poulter MP). 

Non-voting attendees: Tom Brufatto (Secretariat), Jennifer Watson (Secretariat), Jack Valentine (Office of Layla Moran MP). 

Apologies: Caroline Luca MP 

  1. Adoption of Inauguration Meeting Minutes Minutes of the Inauguration meeting of the APPG on Coronavirus were adopted. 
  2. Adoption of APPG on Coronavirus Terms of Reference (ToR) 

The APPG on Coronavirus ToR was adopted, with additional items including: 

  • Medicine shortages 
  • Contact tracing mobile phone application 
  • The prioritisation of people in at risk/vulnerable categories 
  • The relative impact and effectiveness of locally-led / nationally-led response 
  1. Adoption of APPG on Coronavirus Work Programme 

The APPG on Coronavirus work programme was adopted. 

  1. Evidence submitted to date 

It was agreed that the upcoming APPG Oral Evidence Session should hear from the BMA, NHS Confederation and Age UK. 

March for Change Campaign 4th Floor Tuition House, 27/37 St George's Road, Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom, SW19 4EU 

In Attendance: Layla Moran MP, Dr Dan Poulter MP, Liz Saville-Roberts MP, Dr Philippa Whitford MP, Baroness Jenny Jones, Debbie Abrahams MP, Munira Wilson MP, Baroness Masham of Ilton

Non-voting attendees: Tom Brufatto, Dr Mike Galsworthy, Sam Payne, Ellie Dyer.

Apologies: Clive Lewis MP, Caroline Lucas MP

 

1. Election of the Chair of the APPG on Coronavirus
Layla Moran MP was elected Chair of the APPG unanimously.

2. Election of Vice Chairs of the APPG on Coronavirus
Dr Dan Poulter MP, Liz Saville-Roberts MP, Dr Philippa Whitford MP, Baroness Jenny Jones, Debbie Abrahams MP, Munira Wilson MP were elected as Vice Chairs of the group unanimously.
Clive Lewis MP was elected Vice Chair of the group in absentia, unanimously.

3. APPG Meeting Frequency and Recurrence
The group decided to meet every other Wednesday morning, including during recess. Time of the meeting will be agreed via email.

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